7 groups can argue over gag order in Roof case

Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson addresses the court July 16 during a hearing for Dylann Roof in Charleston.

The Charleston judge presiding over Dylann Roof’s prosecution listed on Thursday the groups that can argue over his gag order barring further releases of public information in the case.

Ninth Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson did not immediately schedule a hearing when attorneys for news media, victims’ family members and the federal government will discuss the issue. The filing Thursday only listed the seven groups set to attend a future hearing.

The judge first issued an order July 10 that prohibited authorities from honoring public records requests under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act.

News media, including The Post and Courier, have asked Nicholson to ease some restrictions, particularly ones preventing the release of 911 calls. None of the state agencies that have the information filed motions supporting the gag order.

Loved ones of the nine people slain and the three survivors of the June 17 shooting at Emanuel AME Church, along with a federal prosecutor, have made similar arguments that the records could invade the victims’ privacy and interfere with Roof’s trial.

The seven groups and their first attorney:

Media: The Post and Courier, S.C. Press Association, WCIV-TV, The Associated Press, ABC News and The State; attorney Jay Bender.

Family of slain victim Clementa Pinckney; attorney Robert Wyndham.

Church officials, including the Rev. Norvel Goff; attorney Eduardo Curry.

Survivors Felicia Sanders, a young girl and Polly Sheppard, and family of slain victim Tywanza Sanders; attorney Andy Savage.

Family of slain victim DePayne Middleton Doctor; attorney Laura Evans.

Family of slain victim Daniel Simmons Sr.; attorney Ronnie Sabb.

Federal government; Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.